[JITF2020] This Is What I Think about Translation

Motoyuki Shibata

Professor Emeritus, University of Tokyo, translator of literature.  Actively engaged in translation of the works of many present-day American authors.  He won the Suntory Prize for Social Sciences and Humanities in 2005 for “American Narcissus” (University of Tokyo Press), the Japan Translation Cultural Prize for his translation of “Mason & Dixon” (in 2 volumes, Shinchosha) in 2010, and Waseda University’s Tsubouchi Shoyo Award in 2017.  He is also editor-in-chief of the literary magazine “MONKEY” (SWITCH PUBLISHING).  Presently, his new translation of “Gulliver’s Travels” is being serialized in the Asahi Shimbun Friday evening edition.  He is a fan of the Yokohama DeNA Bay Stars baseball team.

Kaoru Nagai

Editor in the Book Editorial Team of ALC PRESS INC.  From Hiroshima.  After graduating from the English Department of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, she was involved in editing of English study books, “Tsuyaku Jiten (Interpreter’s Dictionary),” “Honyaku Jiten (Translator’s Dictionary),” “Kasegeru Jitsumu Honyaku Guide (Profitable Business Translation Guide)” etc.  She also served as editor-in-chief of the monthly “ENGLISH JOURNAL,” and the correspondence course “1000 Hour Hearing Marathon.”  She was in charge of editing “Doji Tsuyakusha no Kokodake no Hanashi (For your ears only – secrets of simultaneous interpreters)” (by Mike Sekine), “Boku wa Honyaku ni tsuite kou Kangaeru – Shibata Motoyuki no Iken -100 (This is what I think about translation – 100 thoughts of Motoyuki Shibata)” (by Motoyuki Shibata).  He is a fan of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp baseball team.

This Is What I Think about Translation

Motoyuki Shibata is a translator who has brought change to Japanese literary circles by selecting and translating modern American literature from a unique perspective.  In January 2020, “This is what I think about translation – 100 thoughts of Motoyuki Shibata,” was published as a collection of 100 very special quotes (and tongue and cheek comments on them) regarding Mr. Shibata’s views on translation, translation methodology and teaching translation, accompanied with messages for young people, etc.  It is a selection of the best of the best quotes of Mr. Shibata, full of excitement and food for thought, quoted from his books, magazine and newspaper articles, lectures, radio shows, etc.  There should be at least a few pages that resonate with professional translators, those who are studying translation, and anyone who likes to think about language.  On this day, Mr. Motoyuki Shibata and Ms. Nagai, in charge of editing, will share some of the 100 sayings, taking a deep dive on topics such as:

・work during the COVID-19 pandemic
・the process by which the book came into being
・Motoyuki Shibata’s debut as a translator and how he learned translation
・aptitude for becoming a translator
・translation versus teaching translation
・What Japanese expressions to adopt
・The work of a magazine editor and translation
・Body sensations, breathing and translation
・Translating what is difficult to translate
・The inadequacies of translation
… and so forth, but it is liable to change.